Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance - Summer 2020 - Page 18

CAR-AS-A-SERVICE taxis would cover 75 percent of miles, based on pure economic calculi. Just as is the case with autonomous vehicles, “the way that most people will first encounter an electric vehicle [won’t be a result of] buying one for themselves. These vehicles are [going to be] rapidly deployed mostly as electric taxis,” explains Ramez Naam. And big players are fast jumping on the bandwagon. For one, Apple recently hired Tesla’s VP of Engineering, Michael Schwekutsch, who now leads the industry in electric powertrain development. A bold move, this likely indicates Apple’s intentions to wholly integrate EVs into the tech giant’s somewhat secret autonomous vehicle fleet. Just last year, Apple’s cars drove in autonomous mode for 80,000 miles, while drivers took back control of the vehicle only every 1.1 miles driven, on average. Increasingly competitive, this driver intervention rate now stands nearly neck and neck with Mercedes- Benz’s human intervention rate of 1.5 miles, and Toyota’s somewhat higher reported average of 2.5 miles. Yet another competitor, GM Cruise covered 450,000 miles in the U.S. last year with its cutting-edge fleet of third-generation all-electric Chevrolet Bolt vehicles. The company currently operates Cruise Anywhere, an employee-only ride-hailing service in San Francisco and has even partnered with DoorDash to leverage its vehicles for food delivery in the future. One of the more salient figures in today’s EV surge, Tesla’s Elon Musk announced the company’s aspiration to release a fully autonomous robo taxi fleet next. And one of the earliest players, Alphabet subsidiary Waymo rises far above its competitors in terms of miles driven and low human intervention rates. Waymo’s 600 vehicles on the road have driven over 10 million miles in the U.S., not to mention Waymo’s additional eight million simulated miles driven each day. And as of current rates, Waymo vehicles require manual intervention only once every 11,000 miles, vastly surpassing the competition. Since its launch in December 2018, the Waymo One service has transported over 1,000 pre-vetted riders in the Phoenix area. Earlier this year, Waymo additionally announced a strategic partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to release the I-Pace, a fully electric autonomous SUV. In a massive joint effort, the companies aim to release 20,000 vehicles in 2020. FINAL THOUGHTS As electric vehicles improve in performance and witness a drop in overall operating costs, forwardthinking individuals, companies, and investors are rapidly transitioning to all-electric transport. Battery technologies underpinning tomorrow’s EVs are witnessing explosions in efficiency, decimating prices and minimizing the environmental costs of contemporary transit. As 5G and next-generation cellular networks catalyze the growth of driverless EV fleets, partnerships between EV manufacturers, autonomous driving companies, and ride-sharing services will grow increasingly vital. Plummeting prices and increased convenience will soon tip the favor towards electric car-as-a-service options, and private ownership of internal combustion engine cars will become a thing of the past. + *Content originally appeared on www.diamandis.com Peter Diamandis is the Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions. He is also the Executive Founder of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world's leaders on exponentially growing technologies. As an entrepreneur, Diamandis has started over 20 companies in the areas of longevity, space, venture capital and education. He is also co-Founder BOLD Capital Partners, a venture fund with $250M investing in exponential technologies. Diamandis is a New York Times Bestselling author of two books: Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD – How to go Big, Create Wealth & Impact the World. Diamandis.com 18